A Complicated Relation, part II – conference

19 septembrie, 2011, Kalmar, Suedia

Deltagande konstnärer: Notes for People’s Atlas of Public Space in Chisinau (MD), The Bombily Group (RU), Conceptual Art Centre Bukovje (SI), Lado Darakhvelidze (GE), Tatiana Fiodorova (MD),  Andrus Joonas (EE), Nikita Kadan (UA), Kiss my Ba (RU), Victoria Lomasko & Anton Nikolaev (RU), Svätopluk Mikyta (SK), Tanja Muravskaja (EE), Ghenadie Popescu (MD), Alexander Raevsky (MD), R.E.P. (UA), Mykola Ridnyi (UA), Stefan Rusu (MD), Zurab Rtveliashvili (GE), San Donato group (RU), Sergey Shabohin (BY), SOSka (UA), Bo Söderlund (AX), Giorgi Tabatadze (GE), The Office for Anti-propaganda (BY/DE), Alexander Verevkin (RU), Voina (RU) & Minna Öberg (AX)

Curator: Martin Schibli

Kalmar Konstmuseum is proud to present the second part of the museum’s major fall exhibition, A Complicated Relation. The exhibition follows on the heels of the widely noted and highly acclaimed exhibition Friction and Conflict – Cultural exchange and influences within North Eastern Europe presented by Kalmar Konstmuseum in the fall of 2008.

The impetus for A Complicated Relation, part II is how many artists today are basing their work on given social and political contexts. The participating artists share a common desire to engage in – and involve their art in – a real social context. They want to contribute to change and to social development. These artists work with direct interaction on the street, publish journals with voices critical of the status quo, and undertake art projects that engage directly with society. In several cases the artists’ political commitments go hand in hand with their art. Some of the contributing artists are confronted periodically with actual threats and harassment.

We have chosen to present artists from Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Moldavia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Russia, the Ukraine, and Åland. Most of these countries are still seen as on the margins of an increasingly globalized European art world. From Russia we have several artists who work outside of Moscow in cities such as Kaliningrad, Samara, and Vladivostok. Many of the countries named above are societies in a state of transition where there does not yet exist an art world of any significance. That means that the artists must address the situation on their own without any real support from the art world; in fact, their work to a great extent consists in building up that world.

In countries undergoing social change, just as there is no defined art world, there is in some cases a lack of clearly defined social institutions. The paradox here is that these artists can sometimes have a greater impact with their interventions because it’s not possible simply to dismiss their work as pure “art” – because that would require a clear conception of the difference between what art is and what society’s institutions are.

On the other hand, this exhibition deals just as much with universal questions about the role of culture in a society’s progress. What can culture contribute to improving society and the process of democratization? This question is particularly important in all of the countries in global proximity to Sweden. Not least of these are places like Åland, where the younger segment of the population is leaving, or a region like Kalmar County, which is one of only three Swedish counties whose population is declining. How will Kalmar and Kalmar County survive into the future? How can culture contribute to countering this population decline? In many other countries, culture is employed as a future-forward strategy for winning economic and political advantage in tomorrow’s Europe – specifically in order to survive. In this way, Kalmar finds itself in a similar situation.

OPENING: Saturday, September 17
2:00 PM: Performance by Lado Darakhvelidze & Zurab Rtveliashvili.
Director of Exhibitions Martin Schibli opens the exhibition. Several of the artists will be on hand.
3:00 PM: Performance by Andrus Joonas.

Sunday, September 18: Tea Time (Fika) 3:00 PM: CAC Bukovje hosts tea and a conversation with artists.
Monday, September 19: All-day conference in connection with A Complicated Relation, part II.
Several of the artists represented in the exhibition will take part in the conference. Please refer to
www.kalmarkonstmuseum.se for a conference program and registration application.
The conference is supported by the Swedish Institute and the Rumanian Institute of Culture.
Sunday, November 13: Tea Time (Fika) 3:00 PM: CAC Bukovje hosts tea and a conversation with artists.

This conference is held entirely in English

Kalmar konstmuseum invites to a 1-day conference on the possibilities for culture to act as a driving force for social progress, regional as well as international. The conference focuses on countries that Sweden is historically connected to – including Russia, Belarus, Georgia, the Ukraine, Republic of Moldava, and Slovenia – areas where artists remain active despite a minimal local art scene. These are areas where public institutions are not yet defined, were art plays a role to reach outside the art scene and into the population. The conference targets anyone who is interested in learning about the possibilities for culture to act as a progressive part of society, with a special focus on Eastern Europe – An area where Kalmar konstmuseum  has been recognized as an important partner, and regularly participates in exhibitions and biennales.
The majority of speakers are from areas in the outskirts of the cultural scene in their countries. The invited speakers will give presentations on their work with contemporary art in direct relation to the present situation in society. The conference provides an opportunity for participants to meet and exchange experiences.
This conference is connected to the major exhibition at Kalmar konstmuseum this fall: A Complicated Relation, part I and part II. Both parts can be seen as a continuation of the much acclaimed exhibition Friction and Conflict – Cultural exchange and influences within North Eastern Europe which Kalmar konstmuseum presented in 2008.
The conference is produced with the financial support from Svenska Institutet and the Romanian Culture Institute.

For questions regarding content, please contact Director of Exhibitions Martin Schibli:
For general information and futher questions, contact Ola Carlsson, ola.carlsson@kalmarkonstmuseum.se
For tickets, contact Maiken Fohlin, maiken.fohlin@kalmarkonstmuseum.se

The Conference will take place at Kalmar konstmuseum floor 4
There is a limit of 50 seats, so an early registration is adviced
Tickets cost SEK 795 including breakfast and lunch

Programme for the conference September 19th, Kalmar konstmuseum
08:00 Registration | exhibitions open
08:45 Kalmar konstmuseum welcomes you to the conference | director of exhibitions Martin Schibli gives a brief introduction to the conference
09:10 Roman Korzhov | commissar of the Shiryaevo Biennale, Samara, Russia. Talks about the development in implementing contemporary art into the region of Samara.
09:45 Conny Blom | artist Sweden/Slovenia, co-founder of Conceptual Art Centre (CAC) Bukovje, Slovenia. Blom talks about CAC Bukovje that is situated in a Slovene mountain village that otherwise is completely seperated from the art world.
10:10 Break
10:30 Sanne Kofod Olsen | art historian and director at Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark. Talks about the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde
11:00 Lado Darakhvelidze | artist, Georgia/Netherlands. Talks about observation of modern Georgian public life and about his interventions in public space in Tbilisi.
11:30 Sergey Shabohin | artist, curator and editor, Belarus. Talks about the conservatism of the Belarusian State Academy of Art and his cooperation with the Gallery Contemporary Art  “Ў”.
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Stefan Rusu | artist, curator, projects and programs manager at Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau, Republic of  Moldava. Rusu’s artistic and curatorial agenda is closely connected to undergoing processes and changes that occured in the post-socialist societies after 1989.
13:40 Oleg Blyablyas | curator of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad
Branch, Russia. Talks about NCCA’s activities and covers a number of projects implemented by international artists in Kaliningrad mostly in the domain of public art.
14:20 Break
14:50 Marina Naprushkina | founder of The Office for Anti-propaganda (Büro für Antipropaganda), Belarus/Germany. Naprushkina focuses on Belarus because its political model can be transferred to some other East European and Latin American countries from which Belarus gets political support.
15:20 Vladimir Us | artist, curator Moldava. Talks about the activity of Oberliht Association and will partially explain his interest for ideology and public space – the way these two relate to each other, and how did this relation evolve during the last two decades of never-ending transition that Moldova is going through.
16:00 Serhiy Popov | artist, Ukraine. Talks about how SOSka art group works with economical and social problems, politics, commercialization of art and the isolation of Ukraine from Europe.
16:30 Sum up and discussion
17:30  – 19:00 Mingle in the library | drinks, exhibitions open


Roman Korzhov | Together with his wife Nelya Khorzhova key figure in transforming the Samara-region into a important community for contemporary arts. Co-founder of Shiryaevo-Biennale in 1999 and public art projects like huge billboard project Artnews Outdoor.

Conny Blom | Conny Blom is an internationally active Swedish artist, with a long list of exhibitions. Together with the Slovene artist Nina Slejko he is running Conceptual Art Centre Bukovje, a social art project that doubles as an exhibition space. CAC Bukovje is situated in a Slovene mountain village that otherwise is completely seperated from the art world. Within the frames of the project Blom and Slejko arrange meetings and exhibitions with both established and emerging artists in a homely and relaxed atmosphere.

Sanne Kofod Olsen | Art historian and director at Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark. She has been dean of Funen Art Academy (2005-2009) and curator at Danish Contemporary Art Foundation/Danish Arts Agency (1999-2005). Since the mid-90s, she has been an art writer, lecturer and occasional freelance curator. She is a member of Danish Arts Council (2011-14) and other boards.

Lado Darakhvelidze | Founder of Museum TV Station and Ideal newspaper/Citizen Journal
Museum TV Station (MTVS) refers to art activities in museums, biennials and related art events, in which the artwork and curatorial events evoke actual political and engaged positions and where both the artist and curator transform the museum or venue into what might be termed an open source information station.
The project Citizen Journal integrates commentary from online newspapers articles into a self-published newspaper.
By assembling these comments back into a printed newspaper, Citizen Journal manifests them permanently and transforms their anonymous authors into “citizen journalists”.

Sergey Shabohin | Artist and editor in chief of the portal of contemporary Belarusian art Art Aktivist, curator at Galley Contemporary Art  “Ў”.

Stefan Rusu | Artist and curator based in Chisinau, Moldava and Bucharest, Romania. Among his preoccupations are the aspects of mass manipulation techniques, political engineering strategies, forms of colonization and culturalization that culminated in some cases with the construction of artificial entities, as it is the case of Republic of Moldova. Rusu was trained as visual artist and later extended his practice to curating, managing and fundraising projects, editing TV programs, producing experimental films, TV reports and documentaries.
Rusu’s works have been included in numerous group shows including those at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, The Renaissance Society in Chicago, Outpost for Contemporary Art/Los Angeles; TATE Gallery London and many more.

Oleg Blyablyas | Curator of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad
Branch, Russia

Marina Naprushkina | The Office for Anti-Propaganda was founded in 2007 in Frankfurt. The “Office” produces an archive of videos, texts and picture material on the subject of political propaganda. The focus is on Belarus because but its political model can be transferred to some other East European and Latin American countries from which Belarus gets political support. Belarus is also an outstanding example of how to establish a modern dictatorship and how the western democracies handle this “problem”.

Vladimir Us | Artist & curator based in Chisinau, Moldova. Founder, member and president of Oberliht Young Artists Association https://oberliht.org Through his recent works and projects he is questioning the process of formation of the public space in post-soviet cities and other territories in transition. In 2006 he co-curated the “A step aside” project organized by Session 15 of Ecole du MAGASIN – international curatorial training program in Grenoble, France: http://www.ecoledumagasin.com/session15

Serhiy Popov | Artist from the Ukraine. Studied between 1997 and 2002  on Academy for Design and the Arts, Charkow

The conference is made possible by financial support from the Swedish Institute and
the Rumanian Institute of Culture.

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